Friday, August 26, 2011

Codex Review: Space Wolf Elites Part1

[This article is part of the Codex Review: Space Wolves article series.]

Ahh....I survived the first week of school. Exhausted.  I finally have a bit of time to blog and I am really excited.  It's about time we move on to the Elite section of the Space Wolves codex.  When I look at it, the Space Wolf Elites are so well stocked (though not necessarily wise decisions) that it's going to take me two articles to get through them.  I'm not really going take them in any order, just the order that seems cool to me. 

Let's start with Lone Wolves.  These guys are sweet.  They remind of Dwarf Slayers from Warhammer Fantasy.  The idea of guys who are the lone survivors of their packs, seeking a glorious death, and doing their best to achieve that death in the bloodiest manner is simply cool.  It also kind of reminds me of the movie Last of the Mohicans for some reason. 

Anyway, enough that tangent.  These guys are simply beasts.  There rules even make to where you want to throw them into your enemies' faces just to watch the carnage.  Lone Wolves take on quite a few appearances, but the base Lone Wolf rings in at 20 points and comes with WS5, 2W, and 2A. That is pretty sweet for this guy.  Unfortunately, a Lone Wolf is just that, a lone model.  He can take a pair of fenrisian buddies, but that's it. The Lone Wolf comes with a smattering of fun rules too.  He is fearless, has the glorious death rule, and the beastslayer saga. 

Skeld, the Lone Wolf
The glorious death rule is pretty cool.  It basically portrays the Lone Wolf as an unstoppable force trying to die by killing the biggest, baddest enemies out there.  This rule gives him feel no pain and eternal warrior.  On top of that, the Lone Wolf never gives up a kill point when he dies.  Instead, he gives up a kill point if he lives.  Beastslayer allows him to reroll to-hit rolls for walkers, MCs, and anything T5 or higher. 

He comes equipped with power armor, a close combat weapon, a bolt pistol, and frags and kraks.  His power armor equipment options are somewhat limited as he can only get a plasma pistol and any of the close combat weapons.  On the other hand, if you give him terminator armor (which you should), he gets the whole gamut of terminator armor options excluding the heavy weapons like assault cannons, cyclone launchers, and heavy flamers.  Otherwise, you get the run. 

The popular way to run a Lone Wolf is as a mini-MC.  Equip him with terminator armor, a storm shield, a chainfist, and some fenrisians as wound soaks and you have a monsters.  This makes him a 105 pt model, but feel free to sling him forward and do as much damage to your opponents' tanks and units as you can before he gets taken down.  I don't know that I have heard of any other loadouts for him.  Perhaps you can give him terminator armor and 2 wolf claws for some infantry shredding. 

The downside to this guy, besides he cost of making him efficient at something is that he is walking.  He has no transport options and unless you are willing to drop a squad and let him bum a ride, he will be walking.  Otherwise, he is definitely a characterful model to add to the army.  Taking Lone Wolves can be taken in a Wolfzilla list which is essentially a minimum of models but the models you do have are like mini-MCs, things such a thunderwolves, lone wolves and wolf lords. 

Next up we have dreadnoughts.  I am going to be brief with Space Wolf dreadnought as they are just your bog standard dreadnoughts.  Coming in a 105pt. for a regular dread and 165pt. for a venerable.  They have all of the marine weapon upgrades.  I personally think you best options are a MM/DCCW/heavy flamer dread and the rifleman.  These are the two most efficient dreads points-wise and also do a good job at fulfilling their roles well.  It is interesting to add that a difference between SW dreads and other dreads is that Space Wolf dreads have access to wolf tail talismans and wolftooth necklaces which make them a bit more sturdy.  The venerable can also take Saga of Majesty to boost your leadership ability a bit.  Unfortunately, by time you get a venerable dread with wolf tail talisman, wolftooth necklace, and saga of majesty, you might as well get Bjorn. 

That's it for dreads.  You either love them and make a concerted effort to get them into your list or you realize that there are simply better options in the elite section of the Space Wolf codex.

courtesy of GW
The final unit entry for this article is the Iron Priest.  This is the Space Wolf techmarine.  He rings in at 50 points base, but he comes runic armor, a servo arm (+1 powerfist attack), a bolt pistol or bolter, frags and kraks, and a thunder hammer.  This basically means that this guy is a glass hammer on his own.  If you can't get through the 2+ armor save, he will powerfist and thunder hammer you into submission.  If you can, he dies.  He has typical marine stats including a disappointing 1 wound and leadership 8.  He does have 2 attacks plus a servo arm for three attacks base. 

The battlesmith rule is simply the repair rule that all techmarines have. 

I think what makes an Iron Priest cool are two equipment additions.  First, you can put your Iron Priest on a thunderwolf.  This is cool as it really buffs him up.  However, he is still a single wound model with no invul, so it is a costly upgrade that probably won't pay off.  The other cool upgrade is that he can take up to 4 cyberwolves.  Cyberwolves are fenrisians on steroids.  They have T5 and an additional attack (3 base) over fenrisians.  They also have a 4+ armor save instead of 6+.  Other than these upgrades, the Iron Priest doesn't stand out much.  He has no weapons upgrades.  None.  He is stuck with his hammer and bolter/pistol. He can take a retinue of servitors and those servitors take the normal array of long range weapons or servo arms.   He can take up to 3 servitors.   Additionally, he can take a bike, wolftooth necklace, wolf tail talisman, and/or Saga of the Iron Wolf.  This saga let's you reroll unsuccessful repair rolls. 

While a fun looking model, I just don't see an Iron Wolf making any appearances in a Space Wolf army.  The cost of making useful (via a bike, thunderwolf, or servitor squad)  just can't overcome his single T4 wound with no invul save possible.  So, while fluffy and "neat", he won't be appearing in any armies I take. 

In the next article, I will talk about what I believe to be the two most useful elite choices Space Wolves have.  Stay tuned.

other interesting articles:
Wacky Warhammer Gifts!!
How to Paint White Part 1: Bright White
Staving Off Hobby Burnout

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